When management encourages an engaged workforce, success often follows.

Businesses with engaged workforces are 22% more profitable and twice as likely to succeed as businesses with less-engaged workforces.* That’s an eye-popping statistic. And it’s why the management teams of so many businesses work so hard to increase employee engagement. While it’s easy enough to define engaged employees as those who like their jobs and proactively work toward a business’s success, what does an engaged workplace actually look like? Here are the top characteristics:

There Are Well-Defined Goals

Every business wants to make a profit. But that’s too broad of a goal to be useful for employees. In an engaged workplace, the goals are specific steps that fit together to reach the company’s ultimate goal of making a profit. All goals are clearly defined so that employees fully understand what’s expected of them and why it’s expected. Keeping everyone focused helps keep everyone engaged.

There Is Strong Leadership

This can’t be overstated: even the most engaged workforce will falter under poor leadership. Bosses who are inattentive, petty, underqualified, unkind, and/or only in it for themselves will not gain the respect or trust of their team. That’s why the most engaged workforces are typically led by strong leaders who are skilled, experienced, empathetic, and committed to both the objectives of the business and the advancement of their employees’ abilities and careers. These kinds of bosses keep employees motivated, and thus engaged.

There Is Appropriate Recognition

Have you ever worked extremely hard only to have no one seem to notice? That doesn’t happen in an engaged workplace. Instead, management strives to recognize every employee’s achievements. This recognition can be as simple as a “way to go,” or it can include a monetary reward (such as a bonus) and/or a job promotion. The important element is that everybody is made to feel that their contributions are valuable. That, in turn, keeps everyone engaged in the work and committed to reaching the business’s goals.

There Is Plenty of Communication

If finance doesn’t know what marketing is doing and marketing doesn’t know what research and development is doing, a business will struggle and its employees will feel adrift. Of course, poor communication doesn’t have to be so dramatic. It can be as mundane as a failure to alert others to meeting times or neglecting to provide all the information needed to complete a task. Poor communication of any kind makes it difficult for employees to do their jobs. In an engaged workplace, everyone shares all pertinent information and keeps everyone informed as to what’s going on. Additionally—and just as importantly—employees in an engaged workforce feel free to express their ideas and concerns, which helps ensure they feel ownership and remain engaged.

There Is a Culture of Trust and Accountability

Engaged workplaces don’t play the blame game when something goes wrong, and they don’t allow employees to take credit for work they didn’t do. Both of these habits can poison the relationships in a workplace and lead employees to shut down. Engaged workplaces promote a culture where each individual is takes responsibility for their own mistakes and is willing to give credit to others when credit is due. That means management accepts failure as part of the process and works to correct mistakes rather than dole out punishment. Likewise, appropriate recognition of achievement (see above) helps ensure that there’s plenty of recognition for everyone and that no one feels the need to steal the credit from others to get noticed.

How Can You Learn More About Workplace Engagement?

Creating and leading a truly engaged workplace takes a good amount of skill and knowledge. In fact, some of the best in the business hold advanced degrees such as a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) or a PhD in Management. Thanks to the convenience and opportunities of online education, you too can hold a doctorate in business.

When you enroll in an online DBA program or an online PhD in Management program, you can earn your degree while continuing to work full time. That’s because an online university allows you to study on a flexible schedule designed to work with busy lives like yours.

By earning your DBA degree online or your PhD in Management online, you can put yourself closer to your career goals. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who wants to get ahead in business and create engaged workplaces.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online DBA degree program and an online PhD in Management program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


*J. Harter, et al., The Relationship Between Engagement at Work and Organizational Outcomes, Executive Summary, Gallup, on the Internet at http://employeeengagement.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/2012-Q12-Meta-Analysis-Research-Paper.pdf.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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